Natural Selection - The Behemoth : Source Part Ll

Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
edited July 2005 in Fan-Fiction Forum
<div class="IPBDescription">A even more amazing continuation!!!</div> Firstly, I want to thank everyone for their continual support and compliments to my fanfictions. Three years ago, I did a fanfic known as The Behemoth, followed by Nightmare. Unfortunately, due to my exams, I stopped playing NS, and couldn't find time to continue Nightmare.

Due to many people's request. I rewrote Behemoth into The Behemoth : Source, which many liked. About a month ago, I took a break, and went on to something I 've always wanted, Aliens VS Kharaa. That has been completed also. And now, Part ll of Behemoth Source has begun! Feel free to give me any comments, both positive and negative. And point out any errors I have commited, or any part of my story that seems weird. I can't give an update everyday as I have work, but I will try to rewrite and post as fast as I can

Link to Behemoth Part 1 - <a href='' target='_blank'></a>
Link to Aliens VS Kharaa Part 1 - <a href='' target='_blank'></a>
Link to Aliens VS Kharaa Conclusion - <a href='' target='_blank'></a>

<span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Chapter 8 – Kharaa Territory</span>

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>8a) A New World</span>

“The entire universe – and I, is proud to have these five brave Frontiersmen marines standing before us. They were the ones who are responsible for the stopping of the invasion by the Kharaa, who took over The Behemoth.” World President Kenneth exclaimed with a prideful smile as he heartily shook Reza’s hand and Burt, Mike, Sophie and Jack looked on gleefully.

“Trans System Authority Frontiersmen Marines are ever ready to serve the universe, Sir!” Reza replied and bowed slightly, a look of vigilance and satisfaction in his eyes.

Jack adjusted his tie and peeped at the others. They were all dressed in matching black suits, black long pants as well as jet black leather shoes except Sophie who was beautifully clad in a glamorous white dress and translucent high-heels.

“Hey, Sophie.” Jack turned and whispered.
“Yes?” she asked, her long eyelashes fluttering as he stared.
“Have I told you how hot you look tonight?” Jack muttered cheekily.
Sophie smiled gently, looking even prettier. “You just did.”

Dozens of cameras flashed as the entire hall was blustering with the voices of a few hundred different people, all impatient to bombard the five of them with questions and praises.

“Just doing my part, killing the Kharaas!” Burt said, holding the President’s hand firmly.
“I am sure you are, marine!” Kenneth nodded.

Jack swallowed his breath as he glanced around nervously. He had not been in this kind of grand occasion before, never once in his life ever.

“Sophie!” Jack whispered as he nudged her shoulder. “What do I say in a time like this?!”
“Just smile! And say something totally kickass!” Sophie said softly and turned to the front.

Mike shook the hand of the President, and thanked him for recognizing their efforts.

“Ah, a fine lady we have here. It seems that you are the role model for all the women in the universe, young marine!” Kenneth said jokingly as he shook her hand.
“It is an honour, Sir!” Sophie spoke crisply and confidently.

Jack’s heart skipped a beat as the President stepped in front of him.

“Marine. You mind letting me know how you stopped the Kharaa?” Kenneth asked with his hand out.
Jack hurriedly gripped the President’s hand with both palms. “I…just…”

The words couldn’t come out. They were stuck, somewhere deep in the abyss of his throat, the words refused to emerge.

Jack gasped aloud. Everyone, every eye in the great hall, even Reza’s, Burt’s, Mike’s and Sophie’s eyes were looking directly at him! What was wrong?! What was he going to say? Just how did he stop the Kharaa?

It…it was getting hard to breath. His suit was suddenly too tight for him; the world was circling around him. Jack’s eyes begun to darken as he grew faint…

“I!” Jack bolted up as if someone had just slid an ice cube down his neck.

A dream? All that was just a dream?

He glanced about, suddenly aware of how dark the area was compared to the previous situation in his dream, and saw Sophie and Mike lying beside him.

Jack bent closer to Mike and Sophie. Their faces were relaxed and calm though covered with wounds and dirt, were they sleeping? He looked at his own body in shock. Instead an expensive suit, he was in his bulky light armour and his body was full of sweat, bruises as well as ash.

Just where was he? What was going on?

Jack tried to get up, but he groaned in pain and slumped against the wall. Somehow, his head was still spinning and his entire body hurt. His view trailed down to his HMG and ammo, and then Mike and Sophie’s weapons. The truth hit him abruptly – The mission was not yet completed. With that thought, Jack looked down sadly and let out a tired sigh.

They were all still on The Behemoth, and the purified hydrogen bombs were to be launched within thirteen hours! Why the hell was he sleeping at a time like this?! Where was Reza and Burt? Did he even have the luxury of resting now?

Jack immediately clipped the HMG cartridge to his armour and picked up his HMG and was about to shout for the others, when Reza appeared from the bent.

“Ah. That’s faster than I thought.” Reza exclaimed.
Jack frowned. “How freaking long have I been sleeping?!”
“About an hour.” Burt interrupted, appearing from behind.
“Sixty-seven minutes to be exact.” Reza added.
“What the hell?!” Jack exclaimed loudly. “You didn’t wake us up?!”

Reza nodded his head and Jack slapped his forehead in frustration.

“Aren’t we a little short on time here?! The Kharaa are going to bomb Earth anytime and here you are, letting us sleep when our concern should be getting to the Main-Communications Room!” Jack cried out, disbelieving of the amount of time they had wasted.
Reza stared at Jack in the eye firmly. “Sleep is far more important than you think. Without rest and simply non-stop action for hours, you will soon wear out your body and your mind. You can no longer function properly, your reaction speed is slowed, and your accuracy is affected, and so is your ability to think and interpret a situation well.”
“But…we are going to be out of time!” Jack protested.
Reza shook his head. “I would rather you guys sleep here for a while and then proceed with the mission than you people lack rest and screw up our mission due to fatigue!”
“Okay then, putting that aside. How long do we have left?” Jack asked impatiently.
“Exactly ten hours and twenty-three minutes.” Reza answered.

Cursing in frustration, Jack gave Sophie and Mike a prod. They too, were equally shocked initially on hearing they had been sleeping for an hour straight.

As Sophie stretched her arms sleepily, Jack blushed at her actions, remembering the events of his dream, but she didn't seemed to notice his stares.

“Reza. What about you and Burt? Don’t you two need some rest?” Sophie asked, concerned.
“Nah. We already had plenty while watching over the few of you.” Burt said.

The five of them readied themselves to leave, checking their weapons, ammunition, equipment as well as injuries.

“Status check and report. I will start first. No serious injuries. HMG in working order, and two HMG cartridges left. Pistol with a single magazine left. One H-Grenade unused, two bottles of water and a pack of MRE left. PDA still functioning.” Reza announced.
Next up was Burt. “No serious injuries. Shotgun in working order, and twenty-seven shells left. Pistol with two magazines left. Two bottles of water and a pack of MRE left.”
“No serious injuries. HMG in working order with just a single HMG cartridge left. Pistol with one magazine. One H-Grenade unused. Two bottles of water and a pack of MRE left. That’s all.” Mike declared.
“No serious injuries. Shotgun in working order with twenty-two shells left. Pistol with two magazines. Two bottles of water and two packs of MRE still with me.” Sophie said.
Jack was last. “HMG in working order with double cartridges left. No pistol. A bottle of water and a pack of MRE left.”

Reza nodded in satisfaction and checked his PDA minimap a final time before they moved on.

As they strolled along the walkway, Reza explained how he and Burt were climbing the ladder earlier on, and heard Jack yelling out for them, but he did not answer as he sensed Skulks near them. Following on, they climbed to the top, avoiding fights against the Skulks by remaining stealthy. They were about to go on but noticed gunfire below and knew that Mike, Sophie and Jack had engaged the Skulks in combat.

Reza suddenly stopped before a door and said, “And now for the moment of truth. Hold your breath, people.”
“I think they would plss their pants.” Burt said and punched the control panel.

As the door slid open, Jack, Sophie and Mike gasped in shock and awe at the scenario that lay before them. The path that was beyond the door didn’t look recognizable as anything that man had once built. Bacterium growths were on the floor, on the walls, on the ceiling, covering every nook and corner. The vile greenish growth was practically everywhere. Weird amber ferns decorated the walls on either side while mysterious slimy tentacles of all sizes hung from the ceiling. The only artificial objects still visible were the lights, which were surrounded by thick grotesque growths that trembled every few seconds.

The entire walkway was painted a darkened greenish-yellow and everywhere, there was a reeking smell of rot and death. Even the air was humid and wet, and bitter-tasting.

They were in another world. A world of the Kharaa and Bacterium. No longer were the steel pipes visible. No longer were the metal ventilations on the ceiling existing. No longer was the hard metal floor cold and dull. It was now a huge tumour-like growth of bacterium and other foul organisms. The atmosphere itself was heavy and alive.

Sophie gasped aloud as her eyes swept slowly across every detail. “What is……this place?”
“The very stronghold of our foes. This is Kharaa territory.” Reza answered.
Jack studied the walls carefully as he said, “What? They converted this entire place or something? Make it more ‘homely’?”
Reza nodded his head. “Apparently, yes. This whole place is now covered in bacterium.”
“Is there any danger to us?” Mike asked.
“I hope not. Hold on, I will try first. All of you step back.” Reza said.

He took a step forward, the spongy growth quivered and compressed under his metal boots. Swallowing his breath, Reza took out his knife and cut the wall on his right carefully. A very slight squealing cry was heard and a thick yellow juice sapped out from the cut. It was as if, the entire place was alive. Reza was about to touch one of the tentacles when he stopped abruptly, he could had sworn the tentacles were rearing towards his approaching hand. It was better not to test those disgusting lifeforms.

“Yucks…revolting.” Sophie exclaimed.
Reza turned to face them. “Try not to touch any of the tentacles on the ceilings, for we do not know how they would respond.”
Sophie frowned. “I don’t even want to try it!”
“Good, now, follow me! Get ready people, this is their home now, and we are sure to meet some resistance along the way!” Reza roused them.

At first, the group were hesitant to even step forward, but soon found it harmless to step on and squash the lumpy growths along the way. They cautiously proceeded forward, making sure they did not touch the walls and keeping clear of the tentacles.

A large flying insect whizzed past them. Reza stared in amazement, for it was quite impossible for an insect other than cockroaches to live on BH. As the insect flew too close to one of the arm-sized tentacles, the tentacle jerked outwards, snapping the insect and rolled it up. It made a slight gurgle and squeezed tightly, engulfing its helpless prey within its coils.


  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    Egad! The title looks screwed up! Any mod mind changing the " Ll " to " 2 " ?

    Thanks a lot.
  • monk3ymonk3y Join Date: 2003-10-30 Member: 22139Members
    Nice job fire-eel!! keep it coming!!

    the only flaw i could find was this

    Next up was Burt. “No serious injuries. Shotgun in working order, and <u>twenty-seven bullets left</u>. Pistol with two magazines left. Two bottles of water and a pack of MRE left.”

    Its not bullets!! its Shells!!

    Keep it up!!!!! <!--emo&:D--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    edited July 2005
    <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>8b) The Hive</span>

    The air lingered with a foul taste as the horrifying stench got worst and worst with every passing second as they proceeded closer to the Main-Communication Room.

    “Goddammit! What the hell is that smell?!” Jack complained again, for the third time.
    “And for the hundredth time, we don’t know!” Mike replied in annoyance.
    “Then at least tell me where it’s coming from!” Jack protested.
    Reza turned to face Jack, “Most certainly, the Main-Communications Room. Know why?”

    The four marines looked at one another for an answer, but none could quite guess the reason.

    “Look.” Reza murmured as he held his PDA up and accessed the 3D map. “What do you see that is so special about the Main-Communications Room?”
    Sophie studied the structural layout of it for a while before it hit her. “A retreat. That room has a wide area, and there are only two openings to it. If the Kharaa were to attack, then that place makes a great strategic defence - little area for Skulks to hide, and plenty of room for marines to shoot. What’s more important is also the fact that it is one of the best areas to contact for help, and if communications were lost, rescuers would most likely proceed there first.”

    Reza nodded his head in approval; he had expected nothing less of someone as quick-thinking as her.

    As they turned another corner, Burt suddenly raised his Shotgun. The life forms were getting increasingly diverse and numerous, and the green walls seemed to expand and contract slightly, as if they were alive and breathed in and out gently.

    Tentacles snapped up small flying insects, tendrils waved monotonously while mysterious invertebrates fed on the ferns. Every step they took landed not in the hard floor, but a soft wet surface almost resembling mossy soil.

    Reza gazed down at the nearest plant-like growths near his leg. Maybe this would be what the home planet of the Kharaas looked like. However, there was still an uncomfortable thought bugging him. Why was there not a single Kharaa to be seen? Not a Skulk, not even an Offensive Chamber, was it really as he had anticipated then, that the Kharaa indeed had no inkling of their arrivial?

    “This life forms, it’s amazing! I have never seen anything like this before!” Sophie muttered in ever-growing amazement.
    Burt frowned grumpily. “Maybe, but I wouldn’t even want to see them. Not a stinking chance in hell.”
    “Why not?” Jack asked curiously, he too, was equally fascinated with the exotic flora and fauna of the area.
    “They come with Kharaa, they come from Bacterium, they are filthy!” Burt growled.
    “But…only the Kharaa are against us. This other life forms are of no harm to us!” Sophie protested.
    “Sure they didn’t, but I still don’t give a damn.” Burt said coldly.
    “Don’t let your guard down, Sophie. We have no idea if they really are harmless.” Mike reminded her.

    A beetle-like creature sapped up dew excreted from the Bacterium growth, and it was standing in Burt’s way. Without a second of hesitation, he squashed the unfortunate thing under his heel and chuckled.

    Sophie let out a sigh, since when did Burt despised the Kharaa so much? Then again, she didn’t really know the mysterious guy as he was almost anti-social; preferring to be alone or conversing with only a few select marines. After all, she had only met Burt a couple of times on missions, but they rarely even exchanged greetings. Her guess was that Burt might have lost someone close to the Kharaa in the past, resulting in his intense hatred against them.

    Jack winched; the smell was really unbearable now.

    Reza alerted them that they would be upon their destination any minute as he brought up the map on his PDA again. However, whatever was emitting this retching smell they could not tell, and he could only hope it was not from anything of a dangerous origin.

    What was once a door but now little more than a smashed opening lay before them. Reza stopped worriedly and held his HMG firmly. It was the Main-Communications Room, and the disgusting stink was coming directly from there. He was sure of it.

    “Ready?” Reza whispered.

    The four of them nodded their heads in unison, and they proceeded through the door was their guns raised.

    However, no training they had ever received prepared them for the incoming sight, and everyone stared, horrified at the scene that was laid before them.

    Hundreds of human corpses laid scattered throughout the room which was as spacious as a great hall. Many were reduced to nothing more than skeletons but some even had dried flesh intact with insects chewing on the remains. Many bodies lacked limbs and body parts, and those with skulls had the mouth open wide, symbolizing the painful deaths the unfortunate people experienced before they lost their lives. Everywhere was painted in blood and death.

    The entire area reeked of pain and suffering……Sophie couldn’t hold it anymore, and she kneeled down and vomited. Jack gagged several times before he, too vomited as well. Mike held a palm over his mouth as he looked away, and Burt trembled with anger and hatred with his teeth gritted in fury. Reza was the only one who remained emotionless, but after a while, his fist was clenched so tightly that they could hear a solid crack.

    Then Reza cursed suddenly. They had been so occupied with the corpses that only now did they spot the biological creation of death hanging from the ceiling. Several fat vines wrapped in a membrane were clinging onto the ceiling, a huge greenish bulk laid in the middle, its distinct “9” shape covered with dozens of veins and plant-like growths. Sticky goo dripped down the dreadlock growths on its side, as its slimy fat mass pulsating motion made it almost resemble a heart. The middle however, was of a mythical amber colour, and an inhuman shape was seen swirling and twisting round and round beneath. As if it was alive and aware of the people’s presence, it let out several sick gurgles and a foul stink inhabited their noses immediately.

    This was man’s ultimate nightmare, the Hive - a biological Kharaa structure that spawned from the very bowels of hell, Skulks and their monstrous abilities.

    Camouflaged and scattered among the many corpses were more than a dozen eggs of all sizes lying on their sides. The smallest were barely the size of a poodle, while some were as big as a four-wheel drive. All of the eggs were reddish-pink and a fat Gorge scurried around rapidly, making strange belches.

    Like an ant on a frying pan, it scampered everywhere, sniffing at the eggs, letting loose some Bacterium spray, and rubbing its face against the eggs. It even approached some smaller eggs and lifted them up with its mandibles, shifting the eggs to where-ever location it saw fit.

    The group would have laughed at the Gorge’s comical actions, if they were not in a life-or-death situation. It suddenly looked up, when Jack accidentally tapped his gun against his armour loudly. Everyone stared, petrified at the Gorge, which curiously stared at the human intruders. Sensing no response or any signs of danger though, the Gorge dismissed them as posing any danger and returned to its 'egg-caring' work.

    Right at the end of the room was the communications controls. If they were able to reactivate the system, they would be able to connect with the satellites and warn Earth as well as report on the situation.

    Nodding his head, Reza proceeded cautiously down the stairs and the others followed behind him.

    As everyone got closer to the eggs, they could see clearly the web-pattern of fine blood vessels that lined the entire oval-shaped body of the eggs. A strange sticky slime covered the eggs, causing them to gleam under the light. They appeared to breathe and quiver every few seconds as if coordinated. Some even begun to vibrate or jerk and then stopped suddenly.

    The marines couldn’t tell what these actions meant. This was after all, their first time coming so close to a Kharaa egg and not shooting it upon sight.

    As they crept slowly past the eggs, Reza glanced at them nervously. Whenever he stared hard enough, he could make out sinister forms inside, and worst still, they seemed to be looking directly back at him. However, he had little interest in finding out the eggs contents, and didn’t even want to stick around long enough to see the hatchlings.

    As they walked in a file with Jack last, he couldn’t help but reach out a finger to poke an egg. Just before his finger made contact, it emitted a loud squealing cry and the Gorge came scampering towards Jack and made a loud threatening growl.

    The others spun around instantly, their guns raised and ready to rip apart the Gorge which now made loud rapid breathing huffs dangerously.

    As Jack backed off slowly, the Gorges huffs softened but it did not cease its threatening stance. Reza prayed from the depth of his heart he would not be forced to kill the Gorge, he had little doubt an attack now would attract the attention of every Kharaa in The Behemoth.

    His index finger rested on the trigger, if the Gorge spat an acidic goob at Jack now, it would turn out bad. Their acidic spits acted like concentrated molecular acid, melting and burning through metal and flesh alike.

    Time seemed to slow down, as Jack continued to step back slowly and nervously, he never took his fearful eyes off the aggressive Gorge. Why was it still eyeing him? Was it going to attack, or was it just warning him? What if it calls the other Kharaa to come? Questions flashed in Jack’s mind as sweat poured down his forehead.

    The Gorge suddenly made a coughing snarl and walked off slowly, leaving the marines to catch their breath in relief.

    Reza suddenly grabbed Jack and pulled him away.

    “Watch it! If the Gorge or the hive treats us as a threat, every single Kharaa on BH will come looking for us, you dig?” Reza warned Jack sternly, who nodded profusely in shock.

    “Keep away from the eggs and DO NOT touch them!”
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    Great story. Nice to see you are back to the BH. Lots of atmosphere and extremely descriptive for 8a and 8b. However, I felt that the dream in 8a was redundant and did not serve any real prupose.

    I like Jack a lot. But can you stop making him so newbie and make him do some hero thing. It seems that he is really good for nothing and I just don't like main characters to be good for nothing.
  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    Don't worry, man.

    Everything will serve a purpose. Jack will indeed turn out to be the main character you all hope for him to be, and the dream will also serve a purpose. Just wait and see. Patience, my dear friend...
  • HeymanHeyman Join Date: 2005-03-29 Member: 46895Members
    KEEP EM COMIN! <!--emo&:D--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • TheJimTheJim Join Date: 2005-01-09 Member: 34080Members, Constellation
    Lol the gorgey must feel so powerfull <!--emo&::gorge::--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='pudgy.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    edited July 2005
    <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>8c) A Brief Conversation</span>

    Trudging in the field of eggs and corpses was a fearsome experience, and none of them wanted to experience it ever again. Every single step was terrifying; they had to avoid stepping on the bodies, as well as keep a look out for the Gorge, and worst of all, they were forced to move perilously close to the menacing Hive.

    A vile mist blanketed the hive and it’s surrounding, giving it an evil feel. At a close up look, the Hive looked like it was a huge overgrown sack full of veins, mucus, webs and the ever-swirling shape on the middle almost resembled a humongous eye, staring down the five of them coldly. It made a low reverberating hum as thick slimy liquid dripped down its side, forming a sickening puddle within a ring of crusty Bacterium growth.

    Reza eyed the Hive cautiously as they slowly crept past it. This was an extremely bad time for a Skulk to spawn. Few marines have ever witnessed the birth of a Skulk, and he didn’t wish to be one.

    Burt felt a growing desire to pump all of his shotgun shells into this one-Hive and the fat Gorge and all the bloody eggs here; but their current mission was far more important than his personal goal to destroy each and every single Kharaa.

    No one talked. They were all trying their best not to inhale in the foul mist. The smell was completely beyond their toleration now, and they all held their breaths until they reached the main controls of the Main-Communications Room at the very end.

    The control panel was a wide “U” shape; there were several large computer screens in the middle but they were either broken or covered in a centermetre-thick layer of Bacterium. Even the controls and switches were all contaminated with Bacterium growth and blood stains; there was simply no way to tell if anything was in working condition. The entire area was dull and silent; not a single clue to its functionality evident.

    “Oh darn,” Sophie cursed. “Is the controls wrecked?”
    “I don’t think so…or at least, I hope not. Most likely the things only been shut down.” Reza said, feeling the keyboard with his palm.

    Reza moved right to the middle which he assumed to be the main console and tried to start it up.

    Nothing happened. He pressed desperately at the Start-Up switch but he received no response from the main console. On the side, a smaller monitor flashed to life, and the grave words ‘Power Low’ appeared at the bottom left of the screen.

    “Damn! Not enough power!” Reza muttered in frustration.
    Sophie examined the screen closely as she said, “Why? What’s wrong with it?”
    “I have no freaking idea. I suspect that the Kharaa must have damaged or wrecked the power source for this room.” Reza replied.
    “You mean, they tampered with this place’s power just as they did with the temperature and gravity?” Mike asked.
    “No. That’s unlikely.” Reza was about to sit down on a chair, but found a severed human hand resting on the seat. With disgust, he shoved the chair aside and entered commands into the keyboard. “If this place's power source was allocated elsewhere, I would have detected it from the Sub-Control Room earlier on. What’s more, the lights here may be dim, but they still work. So does this particular computer, all these proves that the energy for this area is still around, only that it is too weak to power up the communications system.”

    With Burt and Jack on guard, Reza, Mike and Sophie swiftly moved to each console and powered it up. Every console had a different purpose, and was used to contact a different galaxy or sector of the Universe. It appeared that most were still functioning, but they all displayed the same ‘Power Low’ sign.

    After many failed attempts at trying to power up the communications system, the five of them gathered again.

    “Doesn’t work. Hell no, all of these goddamned machines display the same thing.” Mike growled, his displeasure clearly evident.
    “Reza. Besides here, did you detect any other ways or areas where we could contact Earth?” Burt questioned.

    Reza didn’t reply, but the answer was clear. They had to find some way to power this entire area up; time was fast running out for them.

    Without anyone’s notice, Jack retreated to the main console and keyed in a long chain of computering code. A new list of words flooded the screen, and he studied them carefully for a while before he grinned with satisfaction.

    “I have got it!” Jack said excitedly, appearing behind them again. “The power input flow is insufficient to start up the satellite disk. But that doesn’t mean we cannot use the communications system!”
    “What do you mean?” Sophie asked.
    “As Reza had guessed, the original power source was most likely damaged. Well, I detected a leakage of the electricity, which cut shorts this entire place’s power. However, Earth after all, is very close to here. Thus, I believe that we do not require a high power input to start up the console. All we got to do is to reallocate a new source of power to it, and I will have it up and running in no time.” Jack explained.
    “How on Earth did you know all that?” Reza asked, clearly impressed.
    “I took basic computer engineering as well as Informative Technology in school years ago. Granted, it has little to do with this, but it helps to a certain extent.” Jack announced proudly.
    “I didn’t realise that you were good at computers. I mean, even just now at the Sub-Control Room, you didn't helped in programming the power supply.” Reza admitted.
    “That was because you didn’t ask, and I am not a hacker, so if I were to meet with the pass code, I am unlikely to get through.” Jack explained.
    “Enough talk already. Just where do we find our second source of power?” Burt interrupted.
    Reza considered for a while before he replied, “Auxiliary generator. They should have one of these somewhere close for emergency use in case the primary generator goes down. Unfortunately, even if we do charge up the aux generator, I have no idea of how to allocate it to the Earth-communications console.”
    Jack patted his chest confidently. “I do.”

    With that, Reza smiled at his words trustingly.

    As predicted, the aux generator was simply at the other side of the room. Mike and Burt cautiously approached it, wary of the eggs that laid in the way. Meanwhile, Sophie covered their backs, and Jack and Reza were positioned in front of the main console and Earth-communications console.

    At first glance, one could barely recognize the two metre-tall generator as man-made, due to the overwhelming amount of Bacterium growth covering it, but the squarish shape gave it away immediately. Mike and Burt hurriedly scraped off the lumpy crust with their fingers and pulled open the revealed control box where dozens of coloured buttons awaited.

    “Oh sh!t. I do not know how to work this thing.” Mike said grimly.

    Burt said nothing, but he snatched a stack of papers which were attached to the door.

    “Emergency manual for you?” Burt whispered as he fumbled through the pages.

    There was a buzz of electric, as the sound of the generators charging up was music to the humans’ ear. Hearing this, the Gorge turned and snarled loudly at them, it then hopped several times before spitting a ball of corrosive acid at Burt and Mike. They leapt to the side, and the acid ball splashed into the wall behind them. The spot was now sizzling and smoking, bubbles of hot molten liquid metal dripped down, and a strong burnt smell filled their nostrils.

    Fortunately, the power up soon stopped, and the monitor in front of Jack flickered into action. The Gorge ignored the people again and returned to tend the eggs. Immediately, Jack set to work on the distribution of power to Reza’s console. Sophie watched intently as Reza’s monitor flashed alive as well, and he rapidly typed in several commands into the keyboard, setting up a contact link with the TSA Command Headquarters.

    As Mike and Burt joined them, the words ‘Connection Attempting … … …’ was on the monitor. Reza tapped his foot impatiently, hardly able to push back his fears and doubts. Would his connection be blocked? Would the communications power go down suddenly? Would Bacterium override the computer? These questions floated through Reza's mind as he stared at the screen with increasing worry.

    Finally, the words ‘Connection Made’ appeared and everyone sighed in relief. Reza accessed new functions as he turned down the volume.

    A huge picture of the TSA insignia followed by the TSA motto blazed the entire screen, and Reza was prompted for a user id and password. Typing faster than anyone could see; Reza inserted his name and password.

    “Oh my God! We have contact from BH at last!” a light voice was suddenly heard through the speaker followed by sounds of running feet.

    There were some clicks and shuffles for a few seconds, before the screen suddenly changed, and a steel-faced man looking in his fifties appeared. Even through the screen, this man exuded a dominating air of authority and power, and Reza snapped a crisp salute immediately.

    “Commander Reza?” he spoke in a surprisingly deep voice. “Glad to see you alive, marine.”
    “Yes sir!” Reza exclaimed with a formality that the others had rarely seen before.
    “Who is that old geezer through the screen?” Jack whispered.
    Mike stared at Jack with amusement for a while before he answered, “General Hawkles. The man who personally recommends marines for promotions. Call him that again, and you can forget about a promotion for the rest of your life.”
    “Since you were sent to BH on the EX-200 many hours ago, I heard it suddenly got destroyed and everyone went missing. Following suit, Major Juo in the EX-209 was dispatched to search for survivors, it was taken down as well. What is going on in BH?” Hawkles asked.
    “Sir, BH has been taken over by the Kharaa, all of the people who were once here were killed, and the Bacterium have learned how to overwrite BH’s controls, and how to use the weapons and auto-pilot system.” Reza answered.
    Hawkles listened with interest. “So you are telling me that’s why BH was coming straight at Earth and aiming at our ships?”
    “I am efforting that as I speak, Sir.” Reza replied.
    “You can't be serious! If no human pilots BH, then its security system for all the weapons is activated! How the hell do they use the weapons then?!” Hawkles questioned with doubt.
    “From my best knowledge, it seems they can send Bacterium into the hardware and cause Nano-Gridlock, and they can also exploit the system the same way hackers do.” Reza explained. “What’s worse, in another ten hours time, the Kharaas are firing all of BH’s purified hydrogen bombs at Earth.”
    “Holy son of a……” Hawkles looked down disbelievingly. “Reza, if you are indeed very sure of that, then I fear for Earth’s safety. There are enough bombs there to wipe out a good eighty percent or more of the population here. And if my guess is right, the Kharaa will then land, multiply like bugs and take over everything, isn’t it?”
    “Yes, Sir. They were smarter and more powerful than we thought. We were completely un-prepared for this.” Reza agreed.
    “So what would you suggest? How many marines are still alive with you?” Hawkles asked.

    Reza took a step back, letting Hawkles see the other four marines behind him.

    “Four more Sergeants. That's a hell lot worst than I thought. Reza, are you able to set up a Command Console on BH? I can prepare for an entire battalion of marines to phase there.” Hawkles suggested.
    “No, Sir. I was unable to locate any functioning CCs here. All that’s left are storage chambers for the weapons. No Infantry Portal, no Phase Gate, nothing is left.” Reza said grimly.
    “Fine then, TSA will send a force of combat-ready spaceships to attack BH. I understand about BH’s firepower, but we are superior in numbers. I am confident of breaching BH’s defences and getting more marines in. Once there, they would meet up with you, and stop the bombs from firing. If that doesn’t work, then our backup plan is to fire our own nukes at BH and wipe its butt off this universe.” Hawkles described his plan.
    Reza shook his head as he added, “But, Sir! Once BH gets into Earth’s firing range, it would fire its bombs as well! Even if BH is destroyed, Earth will be wiped out as well!”
    “This is why I said it was a goddamned backup plan. We never use our backup plans anyway! TSA is too good for that.” Hawkles said with arrogance. “But damn, firing bombs down to eradicate us, then sending in more Kharaa to finish the job, those bastards sure get smarter and smarter.”
    “How soon can those spaceships arrive?” Reza asked.
    “General Flinch has the Eradicater, Tauhaser FV, EX-150, EX-260, EX-800 Mk ll and a refuel satellite heading towards BH now. The battle should commence in an hour or so. Have no worries, Reza. Just stay where you are. Once those guys arrive, they would immediately head to you. I should add– ”

    The monitor suddenly blacked out, and flooded with static. Surprised, Reza tried to contact TSA again. There was little the computer had to display, other than a sequence of randomised letters and numbers.

    This was a situation which Reza recognized immediately – Nano-gridlock. His fear of the Bacterium taking over the console had just came true.
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    Cool chapter. i liked the way you described the hive. Completely digusting. And YAY at jack, who actually does something useful in this chapter.

    And general Hawkles comes off as a complete idiot to me. Waiting for next chapter.
  • VigilantiaVigilantia Join Date: 2002-01-25 Member: 51Members
    Woot, Fire Eels back!

    Great work so far Eel. Although I really hope those reinforcements arent simply wiped out.... hate when that happens.
  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>8d) Newborn</span>

    Without wasting any time, they left the consoles and fled for the exit – The sooner they got out, the better. Despite what General Hawkles had instructed; Reza wasn’t going to stay and risk an encounter with the Kharaa which threatened to hatch from eggs into hungry life forms even more dangerous than the Skulks.

    As the five marines cautiously stepped past the many corpses and eggs, they repeatedly glanced at the Gorge worriedly. Instead of moving about and tending to the eggs, it merely stood its ground next to the hive, eyeing them intently.

    “Keep your eyes open.” Reza warned them. “I sense something amiss.”

    No sooner had he said that, a cry of surprise was heard followed by a high-pitched noise sounding like sticky duct tapes smacking together.

    They spun around in amiss, and saw that Mike, who was lagging furthest behind had stopped moving – his eyes filled with fear and shock.

    One look, and Reza instantly knew something was terribly wrong.

    “What is he doing?” Jack whispered, confused.

    Reza pointed at Mike’s feet. At first glance, Jack did not notice anything wrong, but as he examined harder, he realised with horror that Mike’s boots were not touching the floor – his soles were an inch above.

    In all his past experience against the Kharaa, Reza knew only one thing could be causing that. Webs.

    Jack tried to dash back to Mike, but Reza held his shoulder firmly.

    “What the hell are you doing?” Jack murmured in anger.

    Reza didn’t reply, but he simply pointed a wide circle around them.

    Jack stared carefully at his surroundings, and he gasped with disbelief. In every possible direction around them, thin translucent threads that were almost invisible hung in the air. These were like spider webs, but they were much thicker, longer and gleamed against the light. Jack had no doubt these were also far stronger.

    Burt’s eyes blazed with rage at the Gorge. The little bastard had them in its grasp now; it was capturing them for food to serve the baby Kharaa. He would shoot it if he could if not for the fact that an attack now could alert the other Kharaa of their position, and that he wanted to save his ammo.

    The four of them crouched low as their eyes darted about; searching for an opening, an escape from the field of webs. The web strands were like a deadly spring trap; with even the slightest touch, the sticky substance would instantly release itself from its original position with explosive force and tangle whoever had touched it. Even the strongest marine would be easily binded and left helpless to incoming attacks.

    “Stay here.” Reza instructed, and he crawled on fours to Mike before stopping, his face an inch away from a nearly invisible web.

    Mike’s entire body armour was wrapped in stands of web that had now fused into a single mucus-like layer. But that was not all, his legs and right arm was stuck to several stronger strands that were connected to the floor and walls. There was simply no way to cut Mike loose. For now, the Gorge seemed not to regard the five of them as potential threats, but it was determined to turn them into food for the hatchlings. Reza feared that if he tried to free Mike and disturb the webs, the Gorge would not hesitate to attack immediately.

    “I was careless.” Reza murmured in regret. “I am sorry Mike.”
    Mike shook his head and said, “No Reza. Just leave me and go. It’s not like the Gorge is going to attack me now anyway. Hell, it probably thinks I am easy food for the first Kharaa baby that hatches out!” He gave a nervous laugh. “Not like I am gonna get eaten by a hatchling anyway! You go on ahead, the reinforcements should head for here soon, and they will still find me in one piece and save me!”
    Jack suddenly appeared behind Reza. “Mike is right. You guys should go on first. I will stay.”
    “What are you talking about?!” Mike muttered in surprise.
    “Jack. Do you have any idea what you are suggesting?” Reza spoke sternly.
    “Reza, you get the hell out of here with Sophie and Burt. I will stay behind and protect Mike. I just can’t bear the thought of him trapped here helplessly like a fly on a spider web, waiting to get eaten by the first of the babies. All along, it was you, Sophie and Burt who were protecting me. And especially Mike, I owe my life to him. Now it is my turn to be a hero.” Jack replied without hesitation.

    Reza stared at Jack in the eye for a moment. That was no fear and no regret in his eyes, only the desire to protect his friend.

    “I will be seeing the two of you later then, with the rest of the incoming marines. Tell them we would be waiting at the Main Bridge. Remember; don’t shoot the Gorge, not unless it is absolutely necessary, its death would alert every Kharaa.” Reza said, but he never took his eyes off Jack’s. “Promise me you will stay alive with Mike.”
    “I give you my word that we will definitely be meeting up later.” Jack promised firmly.

    Finally, Reza placed a reassuring hand on Jack’s shoulder and crawled towards Sophie and Burt.

    “See you later, Reza.” Jack murmured, and he turned to face Sophie and Burt. “I will surely come back with Mike soon. Don’t miss us.”

    Burt said nothing; he nodded his head and saluted the two of them.

    Sophie hesitated, but she smiled sadly at Jack and Mike and crawled on after Burt and Reza.

    “This is insane and stupid.” Mike rebuked Jack. “You shouldn’t be staying.”
    “Heck. I am not going to leave you here for the Kharaa to pick on. Remember that time? On the Pol Space Facility? When we encountered the Kharaa for the first time. You could have just left me to the Skulks, but you didn’t. You bravely stayed and fought them off. Now it’s my turn.” Jack replied calmly.

    They watched as Reza, Burt and Sophie hugged the floor and wriggled under layers of webs just centimetres from their head. They crawled for about ten more metres before they were cleared of the webs and headed straight for the entrance opening.

    “Don’t move, Mike.” Jack suddenly warned and whipped out his knife.
    Mike stared at him in surprise. “What do you think you are doing?”
    “Freeing you.” Jack replied simply and in one quick motion, slashed the web that was blocking him.
    “Stop!” Mike cried. “The Gorge will attack you! Don’t be foolish!”
    “That’s why I am doing this quickly! Shut up and watch!” Jack interrupted as he hacked at the webs with rising fury.
    “Watch out!” Mike screamed abruptly.

    Without any warning, a green projectile blurred through the air and Jack dodged. He heard a splashing sound followed by a ‘psssst’ sizzling and a strong odour of burnt metal. Then Jack chopped off the webs that held Mike’s arm. The web strands drooped from the ceiling before falling to the floor slowly.

    Another acidic spit came again; and Jack side-stepped the attack before slicing off more of the webs.

    The Gorge snarled in anger as it rolled up another ball of acid in its mandibles.

    The hive suddenly made loud sloshing sounds and started to tremble viciously. A slit suddenly divided on its fat bottom, which slowly split apart into an opening. Drops of goo dripped out of its hole – the birth-canal and it jerked in a continuous, coordinated motion. With every jolt, more liquid splashed into the puddle below and a bulge grew on the bottom.

    Before Mike’s and Jack’s shocked eyes, a small pinkish glob emerged out from the birth-canal. The Hive now growled softly and in an instant, it was squeezed out completely and plopped into the puddle below.

    The Gorge sped towards the pink glob and lifted it high up in its mandibles. It gently removed the soft glob from the puddle and rested it on the floor slowly.

    After a few seconds, small wavy motion pulsated on the surface of the glob as a few bumps appeared on the surface and then subsided. The glob slowly turned translucent and a small creature could be seen in it, twisting and thrashing about violently. It was a baby Skulk wrapped up in a pink, wet membrane.

    The two of them watched in shock and yet, awe as the Skulk wrangled about as it tried to struggle out of its protective membrane. With its already-developed claws, it ripped the membrane apart and popped its head out to look at this new world for the first time. A thick liquid flowed out along with the ripped membrane and the Gorge approached the baby Kharaa.

    Carefully, the Gorge pulled the little Skulk out and laid it beside the now wet membrane. Rapidly, it devoured the wet membrane, sucking it into its mandibles before letting out a loud burp after its meal.

    The Skulk, now sprawled on the floor with its belly up, made loud high-pitched shrieks. The Gorge rubbed its face against the new-born Skulk affectionately and the Skulk opened its jaws, where rows of sharp teeth lined its wet gums.

    The two creatures appeared to kiss, and only after inspecting them could Jack and Mike really see what was happening – The Gorge was feeding the Skulk a white sap for food. As disgusting as it may be, this was the intriguing way of how new-born Kharaa are fed and treated.

    Jack abruptly remembered their situation, and with a sudden burst of adrenaline, chopped off the last few strands of web. Mike’s legs were still binded, and the web was amazingly strong; only after sawing at it furiously could the stubborn substance finally break.

    The moment he was free, Mike ignored the webs still stuck onto his armour and the two of them charged the entrance, cutting down the webs that obstructed them.

    They left the cursed Main-Communications Room, leaving the eggs and Gorge and corpses behind; and headed straight after Reza, Burt and Sophie.

    The smell of death and rot faded………
  • Fatal_ErrorFatal_Error Join Date: 2005-01-15 Member: 35840Members
    This is really looking wonderful Fire Eel, really great writing. Just one problem I have in your writing- you underuse contractions in dialouge. Just try to throw in some I'ms are we'res. Something to think of. <!--emo&:)--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • BulletHeadBulletHead Join Date: 2004-07-22 Member: 30049Members
    YAY! Jack finally did something right!

    Though I'd have just hand grenaded the **** <!--emo&:p--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tounge.gif' /><!--endemo--> Bye BYe gorge + eggs + webs then run the FUDGE outa there!
  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    Why won't any mods lend me a helping hand by changing the title to "Source Part 2"?

    The current title looks kinda silly...

    <!--emo&:(--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad-fix.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:(--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad-fix.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:(--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    edited July 2005
    <span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Chapter 9 - Snag</span>

    <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>9a) Preparations</span>

    “We have view of the target, BH, Sir!” radar-controls Officer Shawn reported.

    At his words, General Flinch who was slumped lazily onto his command seat sat straight up and adjusted his spectacles carefully.

    “Distance?” Flinch asked.
    “Fifteen kilometres, Sir!” Shawn replied.
    “Continue on current course, no alterations to speed. Wake Eradicater, EX-150, EX-260, EX-800 Mk II and Hyperpulse XX20 up. Make sure we intercept BH in time.” Flinch instructed.
    “Yes, Sir!” his crews shouted in unison, and Flinch lay back on his seat again.

    Only days ago, TSA spotted The Behemoth heading straight towards Earth. President Mark Stellas foolishly sent the EX-200 followed by the EX-209 towards The Behemoth. Both were utterly destroyed.

    Flinch had anticipated their doom all along; he knew deep down that Stellas would be simply sending them to their deaths. A tremendous waste of two valuable spaceships and their marines indeed. The only reason stopping Stellas from ordering an attack on The Behemoth was the fact that TSA couldn’t be quite sure if it was still inhabited by humans or not. After all, there hasn’t been anything more expensive to build in the history of man than The Behemoth itself. Given the option, Stellas couldn’t resist recapturing it, earning credits for himself, getting praises and increasing his odds of staying in his position for a few more years.

    As if politics weren’t enough, other powerful organisations and even Earth’s and Moon’s private military threatened to ignore the authority of TSA and destroy The Behemoth themselves. Stellas couldn’t let that happened, so he put his gift of the silver tongue to use, claiming that the self-defense systems in The Behemoth may have been corrupted, and that he would have it restored in no time.

    If Flinch had the choice, he would have launched an attack upon The Behemoth immediately, end it once and for all; rid mankind of their stupid mistake.

    And now, he was going to do it.

    Fortunately, Commander Reza with a small squad of marines had survived, and they miraculously managed to contact TSA headquarters to report of a Kharaa infestation, and that the Bacterium managed to bend The Behemoth to their will, and is launching an attack on Earth.

    However good a liar Stellas was, he couldn’t cover that up now, and so he ordered Flinch to lead a small fleet of spaceships to engage The Behemoth in combat, and then infiltrate it with a battalion of marines. Their orders were to exterminate any Kharaa they find, and meet up with Reza and stop the bombs. Retaking The Behemoth was now a secondary priority, saving Earth was more important than anything else.

    Flinch had selected the Tauhaser Flame Vindincer as his command ship, despite it being about twenty years older than the other spaceships. There were several reasons for his choice. The Tauhaser FV was a mass-produced combat-type spaceship which served many purposes during the ongoing wars between humans years ago. This Tauhaser FV was bigger and better well-armed than any of the other TSA ships in the fleet. She was two-hundred metres long, about one-twentieth of The Behemoth’s length, and not even one percent the weight. However, size for size, she was better well-armed than anything the TSA possessed. Her entire nose and sides were enforced were olive-colored titanium shielding, and she carried double Rapture-class Siege cannons capable of reducing fifty-metre debris into dust, advanced Vulcan-cannons, and lastly, three hundred and forty-six Bichir anti-ship heat-seeking missiles. She was of little use against the Kharaa, but could be put to impressive use against other spaceships.

    But for now…there was still quite a while before The Behemoth come within firing range. He still had things to do.

    “Combat crew!” Flinch ordered. “Calibrate Bichir missiles to type-C homing capabilities; make sure they only fire at BH’s Vulcan guns and nothing else. Meanwhile, load anti-armor Shred-class ammunitions into Vulcan-cannons; I want them to punch holes into BH’s Sonic Cannons! Do not, I repeat, do not use our Rapture Siege Cannons at any time unless I say so. We are there to disable, not destroy BH. Lastly, when we are at a range of three-point-five kilometres, cease all movements and commence operation Turtle-Shield. Once I give the signal, all ships will destroy BH’s armaments while cruising at three hundred kilometres per hour. When we are within a kilometre’s range, set coordinates to do a turn at thirty degrees with increasing swing till we are side-by-side with BH by fifty-metres. Let our marines board BH, and we will escort BH till we receive word from Major Issac and Commander Reza. Be prepared to break away if things get too heated-up. Send my words to the other spaceships.”

    He received a standard “yes sir” from the crew before he sat back and reviewed his plans carefully. Tauhaser FV was strong, but she didn't carry unlimited ammo. Also, Flinch didn't underestimate The Behemoth's firepower, he had little doubt that the smaller EX-150 or EX-260 could be taken down in the fight, so he had to conserve his ammo, save them for use to disable the weapons.

    ‘Operation Turtle-Shield’. He hated to do something like that but he was left with no choice. They were to witness one of the greatest sacrifice – The Docking-and-Resupply Satellite Hyperpulse XX20 was only manned by two crew, more than a hundred metres in circumferences and as well-armored as his Tauhaser FV. These were desirable qualities, and Stellas made good use of every opportunity. The Hyperpulse XX20 was to be their shield where all the spaceships would stay in a line behind and together, they would all move in as close as possible till the satellite is destroyed. Following suit, the spaceships would scatter and destroy all the armaments at a particular portion of The Behemoth.

    Stellas repeatedly changed their operation and protocol as the situation changed when Reza announced of the Kharaa’s infestation, but the one thing that wasn’t changed was the fact Hyperpulse XX20 would be sacrificed as their shield. Flinched pitied the poor souls in the satellite right now.

    Although The Behemoth was well-armored and enormous, her weapons were too thinly-spread apart to stand a chance against their combined firepower. All they had to do was to destroy her guns in an entire area, and they could then do as they please, and the Kharaa would be powerless to their plans.

    Flinch was confident of this plan. The Kharaa may be their equal on ground, but in space battles, the bastards will be wiped out easily. Mankind haven't develop combat spaceships for hundreds of years to lose to these primitive Kharaa for nothing.

    “Sir! We are coming within five kilometers of BH. I think they know we are here, I sense heat spikes within their armaments.” Shawn reported.
    “Impressive of those Kharaa-freaks.” Flinch commented. “Get Tauhaser FV prepared for combat as well!”

    The room instantly buzzed with a hundred different clicks and taps as dozens of different fingers typing in commands into their consoles, as the crew sped against time to awaken every weapon and every function in the Tauhaser FV.

    Flinch shut his eyes and did some relaxed breathing as he made a few mental calculations of his plans once more. He couldn't afford to make a mistake now, all of mankind's survival would depend on the upcoming battle.

    “Weapons check! Vulcan-cannon checked! Rapture Siege cannons checked! Bichir missiles checked! All weapons in good condition!”
    “Bichir missiles homing capabilities calibration completed!”
    “Vulcan-cannon ammunition switched and ready!”
    “Rapture Siege cannons on standby!”
    “Removing all weapons lock!”
    “Armaments all ready!”
    “Tauhaser FV Class-A functions operational!”
    “Tauhaser FV Class-B functions operational!”
    “Tauhaser FV Class-C functions operational!”
    “Command-seat modules and monitor functional!”
    “Transferring Protocol Ex-Dragoon codes to Command-seat!”
    “Individual consoles, monitor and applications functional!”
    “Radars, functional!”
    “Boosters and side-boosters, functional!”
    “Gravitational controls, functional!”
    “Atmospheric controls, functional!”
    “Safeties, on!”
    “Life-support systems, on!”
    “Nano systems functional!”
    “Main Bridge standard consoles and functions, all green!”
    “Eradicater operational!”
    “EX-150 operational!”
    “EX-260 operational!”
    “EX-800 Mk II operational!”
    “Hyperpulse XX20 operational!”
    “All systems, green!”

    Flinch cracked his knuckles – this was going to be fun.

    “Sir! We are approaching BH by three-point-seven kilometers!” Shawn reported.
    “This is an exception, disregard Protocol Orion! The safety of Hyperpulse XX20 is not important! Don’t try to save them!” Flinch shouted, his voice trying to sound as cold as possible.
    “We are getting to three-point-six kilometers, Sir!” Shawn shouted again.
    Flinch sucked in a deep breath, and he announced, “Operation Turtle-Shield, commence!”
  • TheJimTheJim Join Date: 2005-01-09 Member: 34080Members, Constellation
    Nice very nice and i hate you for finishing when the action was gonna start <!--emo&::marine::--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='marine.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    Great chapter fire eel. The chapter is quite atmospheric. Personally, I tihk Flinch is going to bite the dust. But we shall see.

    Keep writing man!
  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    edited August 2005
    <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>9b) Operation Turtle-Shield</span>

    The Hyperpulse XX20 positioned herself in front of the five spaceships, her entire disk-shaped circumference blocking The Behemoth from their view, and then shifted awkwardly as she exposed her surface to the enemy guns. On her other side, the five spaceships moved into position; a single line with the commanding Tauhaser FV in the lead, the EX-series in the middle, and the Eradicater at the tail.

    “Formation completed.” Friendly-chassis Control Hebert announced.
    “Increase speed to three hundred kilometres per hour.” Flinch instructed.

    At his command, the satellite and spaceships cruised ahead in a constant speed directly towards their target.

    “Three-point-four kilometers…three-point-three kilometers…” Shawn slowly mentioned the distance of the gap they were closing up.
    “Anything up with BH?” Flinch asked.
    “No, Sir.” Shawn replied. “Weapons temperature still constant. They must be waiting for us to get close before shooting. I don't think the Kharaa bastards even know how to utilise their long-ranged weaponry.”
    “Don’t assume anything, marine. Always be on guard.” Flinch chided him. “Watch out for Hyperpulse XX20, BH could fire any moment!”

    Just as he had said it, loud beeps suddenly emitted from several of the consoles. and Sensor-control Maria shouted, “Sir! Projectile detected from BH’s– ”

    A faint glow seeped through Hyperpulse XX20’s edges, and the satellite’s angle tilted slightly.

    “It’s the…Class-WS Sonic Cannon! BH is firing!” Shawn reported.
    “All hands prepare for combat! Get me updated by the millisecond about BH’s actions!” Flinch bawled.
    “Yes, Sir!” every crew in the bridge shouted.

    Flinch studied Hyperpulse XX20 intently as more flashes of light emitted from her side facing The Behemoth. The secondary boosters underneath struggled to push her back into position. Everything was blocked from his sight, but he knew that the ill-fated satellite was now facing the full brunt of The Behemoth’s terrifying weapons.

    “Approaching BH by two-point-six kilometers, Sir!” Shawn reported.
    “Multiple sectors of Hyperpulse XX20 turning red, Sir! They are taking the hits hard.” Hebert commented.
    “I know they are. May God bless their souls in heaven.” Flinch said, sounding calm, but he grapsed his left knuckle in his right palm tightly, hardly able to keep back his worries. Another few good hits on the Hyperpulse XX20 could take her out.

    The crew stared in disbelief at the damage the Hyperpulse XX20 was receiving. The satellite’s edges were now barely visible as the entire outer rim was absorbed in a dazzling flash of heat. The entire skeletal framework structure was lit up in a fiery white while several sections glowed red hot as they ejected constant streams of sparks and ash.

    “Sir! Hyperpulse XX20 turning critical! Much of it is already gone; it can’t take much more hits!” Hebert cried in dismay.
    “I am aware of that! This is exactly what Operation Turtle-Shield is about.” Flinch snarled.
    “Escape pod detected from Hyperpulse XX20!” Maria reported loudly, a slight tone of relief in their voices. “It’s coming towards us but- they are unable to line up with our speed!”
    “What?!” Flinch uttered. “I didn’t give them orders to abandon their satellite!”

    Directly in the middle of the blazing satellite, a single white dot growing in size was apparent.

    “Sir! If this goes on, their escape pod will be unable to dock with our spaceship!” Maria reminded Flinch.
    Ship-Navigational Controls Nash turned to face Flinch. “Sir! Shall I pick them up?”
    “No.” Flinch cut him off abruptly, and in the coldest voice he could muster, he added, “This is a critical moment; we can’t break the formation now. Stay on course! Ignore them! They were meant to die anyway.”

    At Flinch's words, many of the crew turned to glance at him, a few clearly angry at his choice.

    “But– ” Nash uttered, and his expression turned hard. “Yes…Sir.”

    The entire satellite was now a bright crimson red as streaks of flame burnt through its fast-depleting armor. From their side, several red-hot swells appeared on its surface for several seconds before the incredible force of the Sonic Cannons burst right through and exploded. Vulcan bullets ripped through the satellite as metal debris flew everywhere. Jets of electricity and sparks ran through what was left of the Hyperpulse XX20, as it rapidly burnt and vaporized in the vacuum.

    “Full speed ahead! Break through the Hyperpulse XX20! Prepare Rapture Siege Cannons, fire at my command!” Flinch suddenly roared.

    Every booster on the tail of the Tauhaser FV lit alive and the other spaceships followed suit.

    Almost every screen in the bridge showed a fiery ball of flame which was all that remained of the satellite, as the Tauhaser FV sped straight ahead.

    “Hold on tight!” Flinch warned and paused for a second, and he yelled, “Fire!”

    The Raptures fired together – and the satellite instantly shattered apart before exploding into a nova. The Tauhaser FV broke through the flame, and The Behemoth instantly came into full view.

    “Whoa…” Nash exclaimed in amazement.

    Flinch broke a sweat. The Behemoth wasn’t just big, it was downright humongous. It greatly dwarfed his Tauhaser FV many times to one, and seemed to fill the entire space of the screens. Even at this distance, he could vaguely make out the hundreds of vulcans pointed in their direction.

    “All ships scatter!” Flinch ordered.

    Suddenly, shards of yellow came from The Behemoth and struck the Tauhaser FV powerfully. Several monitors overhead instantly went blank.

    “Nose camera A4, and Deck camera B1 down! Prow damage at six percent!” a crew yelled.
    “Target their Vulcan guns in sector Beta A3! All crew, fire at will! Priority to the Bichir missiles first!” Flinch shouted.

    The three combat crew manning the bichir missile pods tensed up and coordinated the missiles to lock on to scattered Vulcan gun emplacements.

    “Pod twelve, fox twenty!”
    “Pod ten, fox twenty!”
    “Pod six, fox twenty!”
    “Bichir missile launched! Impact in eighteen seconds…seventeen…sixteen…”

    Three pods ejected from the Tauhaser FV and sped towards The Behemoth on their individual thrusters. And all at once, the three pods broke apart into hundreds of pieces, and from their middle, sixty missiles emerged and arched towards The Behemoth. The bichir missile streaked through space straight towards the opposing fire, a mist of dispersed nanite trailing on their tail before dissipating into the void of space.

    Flinch watched intently as dozens of the missiles were struck by bullets midway and exploded before they hit their target, but the rest rammed into the enemy Vulcan Guns and erupted into dazzling balls of flame, leaving ranks of devastated armor and metal.

    “BH sector Beta A3 armaments down by eleven percent!”
    “EX-260 and Eradicater firing their missiles as well. Estimated target by trajectory…sector Beta A4 Vulcan guns!”

    Flinch read the statistics from his console, and then he said loudly, “Ready our Vulcan-cannons! Those bastards are going to fire their own sonic cannons anytime! Watch out for friendly fire!”

    The Tauhaser FV jerked again. This time, several of the overhead monitors went blank and everyone felt a sudden wave of heat.

    “Nose camera A3, A2, down! Prow damage up to twenty percent!” someone yelled.
    “That was close…too close…” Nash mumbled as sweat dripped down his forehead. “They almost got our bridge…”
    Flinch frowned as flashes of light engulfed the overhead monitor, and then he roared, “Lower ship angle by ten degrees! Don’t let the damage concentrate on a single point! Switch my monitor to Top-surface cameras.”
    “Heat spike detected from BH Class-WS Sonic Cannon! They are firing at us!” Maria shouted.
    “Emergency side thrusters! Vulcan-cannon crew, destroy their Sonic Cannons!” Flinch ordered.

    The Tauhaser FV lurched to the side violently, and several crews who had neglected to strap on safety belts stumbled off their seats.

    Nash gritted his teeth struggled to keep the spaceship under control, his uniform soaked to the skin by sweat.

    “Impact in two seconds!” Maria warned, and several crew cowered down in fear.

    The monitors flashed for a second, and then it was gone. As many of the crew wiped their perspiration and patted their chest in relief, Flinch could only rub his hands nervously. The shot had missed them narrowly, if Flinch had gave the command a second later, the bridge would have been utterly devastated.

    “Multiple Sonic Cannons firing at EX-800 Mk II! Impact in three seconds! They won’t make it in time!” Shawn cried.

    Flinch remained motionless as he stared hard at his radar. Triple white dots representing the projectiles traveled at a super-speed towards the yellow dot signifying the doomed spaceship. As he watched, the four objects collided, and the yellow dot disappeared.

    “EX-800 Mk II gone…” Shawn remarked grimly. “No escape pods detected…”
    Flinch slammed a fist onto his radar furiously, and he bawled, “Prepare all weapons! Use our Rapture Siege Cannons! Destroy all their weapons, destroy all the bastards! Tell that to the other spaceships as well!”

    Angry and motivated by the death of their fellow marines, the combat crew clutched their targeting wheel firmly as they swept their targeting reticule across the surface of The Behemoth, releasing a hailstorm of powerful Vulcan cannon shots. Following right after, the double Raptures fired in unison, and Flinch watched in satisfaction as the salvos impacted and exploded. As the dust and debris cleared, there were two enormous gaping holes steaming with escaped gas on what was left of the Class-WSs.

    Secondary explosions rocked the surface of The Behemoth, and the Eradicater overtook the Tauhaser FV, releasing a bombardment of its own missiles as well.

    Flinch switched his camera to view the EX-150 and EX-260. They too, were advancing forward and firing their own machine cannons, despite the opposing fire from the Vulcan guns which were tearing their armor apart.

    “BH sector Beta A3 armaments down by seventy-nine percent!” Shawn reported.

    Flinch was about to say something but the Tauhaser FV jolted abruptly and he could feel multiple sectors explode.

    “What happened?! Status report!” Flinch cried.
    “We’ve been hit! Bottom Deck A to C damaged! We got an air breach down there!” a crew replied.
    “Seal off Deck A to C! Shut and block all doors and level B to C entrances to those areas. Send a team of engineers using level A entrances there!” Flinch instructed. “We have almost disabled all their weapons! Send word to EX-260 to cover us!”

    As missiles beared down on the last of the Sonic Cannons in Sector A3, the four spaceships approached, destroying all the Vulcan guns that hindered their approach.

    Flinch grinned deviously. Despite the sacrifice of Hyperpulse XX20 as well as her crew, and the damage his spaceship had substained, he had no doubt now the victory would be his.


    Sorry for late chapter, but I was enjoying my holiday too much <!--emo&:p--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='tounge.gif' /><!--endemo-->
  • BulletHeadBulletHead Join Date: 2004-07-22 Member: 30049Members
    Oi! No sudo nai do moken!

    Great job man!
  • BadMouthBadMouth It ceases to be exclusive when you can have a custom member titl Join Date: 2004-05-21 Member: 28815Members
    Great chapter. Really tense with the action do good job on that. I thought Finch was going to get blown up in that chapter but looks like i was wrong. And Finch is a mpolitical idiot. You don't send people to die like that, the Hyperpulse XX20 i mean. And even if they were meant to die, you don't tell them to your men...

    So Finch is an ****.
  • Fire_EelFire_Eel Join Date: 2003-08-19 Member: 19950Members
    Did some editing to the last chapter, felt it was missing "something"
  • ArchimedesArchimedes Join Date: 2005-08-02 Member: 57387Members
    <!--QuoteBegin--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><b>QUOTE</b> </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin-->BH sector Beta A3 armaments down by seventy-nice percent!” Shawn reported.<!--QuoteEnd--></td></tr></table><div class='postcolor'><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Seventy-nice.. lol...
    <!--emo&:)--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile-fix.gif' /><!--endemo-->

    I LOVE your fanfic, it is quite possibly one of the best fanfic's I have ever read. I would say the only fanfic that I have read that is on par with your's is this one.

    Momenti Mori
    <a href='' target='_blank'></a>

    It's a doom fanfic.

    Anyways, I loved how you described the hive, I thought that the roge was really funny <!--emo&::gorge::--><img src='' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='pudgy.gif' /><!--endemo--> I thought it was quite the change in the atmosphere when they got into the hive, since the gorge/hive didn't classify them as a threat, but I liked how you made the gorge evil by having webs. I thought that having him as a kharaa-nurse was kind of funny
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